Anti-Catholic screeds masquerading as journalism

Anti-Catholic screeds masquerading as journalism

An “alternative” newspaper in Phoenix called the Phoenix New Times has launched a virulent anti-Catholic screed centered around the controversial figure of Archbishop Paul Marcinkus. Marcinkus, an American, was known as God’s banker because he was head of the Vatican bank from 1971 to 1989, a period in which the bank—known formally as the Institute for Religious Works—was connected to some serious scandals and crimes, although the exact nature of that linkage has never been determined.

But listen to the bias and misstatements throughout the opinion piece posing as a news story:

  • He was constantly seen accompanying Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II, and he was considered by many to be the second most powerful man in the church.[Absurd. Almost no one in the Church would peg him as the second most powerful man. Sodano or Ratzinger easily hold that title. Only people concerned with money would give Marcinkus that title.]

  • In the mid-‘80s, Italian authorities tried to arrest Marcinkus in connection with a stunning array of crimes, including assassination financing, arms smuggling, and trafficking in stolen gold, counterfeit currencies and radioactive materials. [In connection with? He was wanted for questioning because other banks in which the Vatican bank placed its money were doing the financing of crimes.]

  • Pope John Paul II sheltered Marcinkus in the Vatican, protecting him for seven years with Vatican City’s sovereign immunity, an immunity granted to the Vatican in 1929 by Benito Mussolini. [What does it matter if Mussolini signed the Lateran accords? Does it somehow make the Vatican’s sovereignty suspect by association?]

  • Now, the 80-year-old Marcinkus gives Mass at Sun City churches within the Diocese of Phoenix, with the full knowledge of Bishop Thomas O’Brien, as investigators around the world continue to fight Marcinkus’ Vatican immunity. [Why shouldn’t he celebrate Mass? He is an archbishop in the Catholic Church in good standing.] 

  • Marcinkus was a guest of honor at a Valley Knights of Columbus event ? over which O’Brien presided ? honoring top church officials such as Monsignor Dale Fushek, the embattled founder of the church’s Life Teen program. [Why bring Fushek into this? Embattled? The claims against him were by a single man and were suspect from the start.]

  • What saved him from justice?” Yallop asks me rhetorically. “The Vatican.” Clearly with lots of aiding and abetting from folks here in the Phoenix Diocese. [Aiding and abetting? Innocent until proven guilty?]

  • [Phoenix diocese officials], we learned last week in the Arizona Republic, were also willing to quietly harbor a priest by the name of John M. Picardi, a man with a sickening history of sexual misconduct who was recommended for defrocking in 1996 by a sexual abuse board under Boston Cardinal Bernard Law. [What does Picardi have to do with Marcinkus unless the goal is to smear the Church. “If they’re willing to harbor pedophiles, they must be capable of even greater evil.]

  • In my mind, the Marcinkus case sheds even more light on the attitude of the international church, and the local diocese, toward criminal priests. Do you really think Phoenix Bishop Thomas O’Brien is going to be totally forthcoming regarding sexual abuse by his priests when he is willing to give harbor to one of the most wanted men in the world? O’Brien acts as the church acts. And the church has a millennium-and-a-half history of covering up its sins and sinners, and nobody exemplifies this truth more than Paul Marcinkus.[In other words, the Church is corrupt to its core. What’s with the millennium-and-a-hal time frame? Oh right, the old “everything was fine until Constantine” fundamentalist crap. Funny to hear it from an obviously anti-religious newspaper.]

The last one really takes the cake and exposes the writer’s aim. He’s not out for the truth or justice. He hates the Church and will stoop to anything to tar her as an evil and corrupt institution through and through, not the Body of Christ or a divine institution. There’s so much more in the article worthy of criticism, but frankly I don’t want to waste my time. I suggest you read it and see the lies and distortions for yourself.

By the way, if you want to understand the motivations of the newspaper, just check out this feature on their front page: Jesus of the Week where they criticize kitschy Jesus art. I don’t deny that much of the art is banal, but their descriptions veer over the line. Enjoy such “witticisms” as:

  • Looking for the love of Christ in all the wrong places? Bling bling! It’s time to rejoice and represent with this menage-a-J2K-trois!

  • Just look at Jesus here, sitting in a garden, sunshine shining, little boy elated to be in His presence and vice versa. Now what takes this set-up right into controversial sick-o territory? Isn’t it joy and loving kindness? Or as disciple David puts it, “Is this not the creepiest thing you’ve ever seen?”

Clearly an unbiased news source.